Fiat heir Lapo Elkann's Garage Italia Customs, a Milan-based company, specializes in custom bodywork, paint and upholstery. Elkann, 38, spoke with Automotive News Europe Editor Luca Ciferri.
What is the mission for Garage Italia?
To be the fashion, style and design house for everything in motion. We have customized cars, motorcycles, helicopters, private jets and boats. Automobiles are the core of our activity because I am mad about cars.
What are your goals?
My first goal is to reach breakeven in about three to four years on the roughly 8 million euros ($8.7 million) we've invested so far. Long term, the sky is the limit. The number of wealthy people is growing worldwide, and they increasingly want something tailor-made to properly express their tastes and dreams.
When will Garage Italia expand?
We will open a second atelier in Miami, probably in the second half. Then, we will add something in the Middle East.
What is the price range to have Garage Italia customize a car?
From 1,000 euros ($1,087) for a partial exterior wrapping to 6,000 euros ($6,525) for a full wrapping. Custom painting ranges between 5,000 and 15,000 euros ($5,437 and $16,310). The same range applies to revising an interior, but you can easily reach 300,000 euros ($326,200) if you select special treatments such as a carbon-fiber instrument cluster wrapped with marble and a hand-brake lever with the same finish as a samurai's katana sword handle.
With your brother, John, and sister, Ginevra, you are a powerful shareholder in the parent company that controls both Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ferrari. What does this mean to you?
I am extremely happy that my brother is running these businesses. He is very good at it. This lets me be an independent entrepreneur.